Introducing Menorca Holidays
Without a shadow of a doubt the most serene and peaceful of the ever-popular Balearic Islands, and also the second largest, Menorca is the perfect location in 2017 for those who simply want nothing more than to get away from it all for a while; while chilling out in the sun and re-stocking those precious supplies of vitamin D. Whether you’re a family looking for beachside activities galore, a couple in search of their personal slice of paradise or a group of friends that want to reconnect and partake in some walks together, Menorca has it all in spades. Awash with ancient ruins scattered across the landscape, bustling seaside communities along the coast and incredible scenery that can be taken in with a hike or on horseback; the possibilities are endless on this Mediterranean marvel. Kick back in the sun along any of the islands gorgeous golden crescents or chow down on some delicious Spanish gourmet food; the choice is yours.
While the islands top draw will probably always be its beaches, there’s no shortage of things to keep you occupied during your stay. You could always take a stunningly scenic horseback ride along the endless stretches of coast, or scale Monte Toro for staggering panoramic views and plenty of photo opportunities; the island of Menorca really packs a wallop considering its smaller size. Fans of culture will find no shortage of delights here, as the vast landscape is dotted with ancient ruins and culturally significant churches tucked away in the islands quaint villages. We’d also highly recommend taking a day trip out to La Mola; a wonderfully preserved ancient fort that’s just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque Mahon harbour. Beat the heat and head down early in the morning to have the place almost to yourself as you amble around and learn of its historical significance. History buffs will find Talati de Dalt and Torralba d’en Slord significant, as they both house some fascinating ancient ruins.
Wine and Dine
As the most reserved of the Balearic Islands, Menorca boasts holidays that are more relaxed than those on its bustling neighbour Majorca, but that doesn’t mean it has less to offer! You’d be remiss if you didn’t take in some of the local cuisine and culture of this beautiful island. Menorca has an abundance of the freshest seafood available on the Balearic’s and one of our favourite things to do is to concoct great dishes from the fresh produce from the local merchants.
If you happen to be staying in a villa, then it’s never been easier to entertain friends or family while cooking up a storm of seafood to serve with local wine in the comfort of your own island retreat. Menorca has four unique wineries where you can sample and buy the local speciality wines, and the staff will be happy to advise you on which makes a great accompaniment to fish or meat dishes. Our personal favourite to visit has to be Viñas Binifadet in the idyllic village of Sant Luís, which offers guided tours and art exhibitions. Be sure to sample the specialities here; two sweet wines made from muscat and merlot grapes!
If over 100 beaches aren’t enough to keep your little ones entertained, there’s plenty of outdoor activities on hand to keep the entire family busy. Saddle up and give horse riding a go or rev up and go mountain biking, check out Menorca’s fantastic countryside at a more leisurely pace or even try out some paddle boarding or another water activity. Discover Menorca’s prehistoric past and the ancient civilisations that once dwelled here by exploring a plethora of Bronze and Iron Age settlements; including jaw dropping megalithic monuments only found on this island. Little soldiers will surely be fascinated by Menorca’s rich military history at the Military Museum at Es Castel or if you're looking to pump some adrenaline into your family holiday then one of the two water parks available might be your best option. Inn Cala Blanes you’ll find the humble sized Aqua Centre, a small but well kept water park suitable for the young to mid-teens, while Aqua Rock is the other option in the resort of Cala Bosch; which has the added benefit of a go kart track, for kids with the need for speed.
Action and Adventure
While it’s true that Menorca reputation as the most mellow, relaxed and more low-key resident of the Balearic Islands is well deserved; just because your stay here is likely to be more laid back than usual doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of adventure to seek out. If you’re not into lazing on the beach all day sizzling in the hot Mediterranean sun then you’ll be delighted to discover it’s not just all about sun, sea and sand in Menorca.
A firm favourite with those looking to get their heart pumping a bit on holiday, the Cami de Cavalls boasts a coastal path that stretches for 186 kilometres around the island; perfect for a spot of hiking, walking, horse riding or simply exploring. If you’d like something a little more hardcore (or half mad), the route also hosts the Trail Menorca Cami de Cavalls; the ultramarathon held every year and one of the world’s most popular. We just hope you’ve been training... Although there’s plenty to keep you busy on dry land you could get your pulse racing a bit with a day trip to Son Bou Beach for water sports; windsurfing being the main one here.
Life's a Beach
The majestic island of Menorca is home to no less than 100 beaches for you to dip your toes into so if you pick a holiday to this wonderful Balearic getaway in 2017, you’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to splaying out on the beach. Favoured with those that prefer a quieter beach, the beaches here are less crowded than its towering neighbour Mallorca, and so are popular with more reserved types, the older generation and those with kids to keep an eye on. Pay a visit to the idyllic Cala Galdana beach and be rewarded with gorgeous backdrops and stunning sunsets, or get your pulse racing with a day trip to Son Bou Beach for spot of some white knuckle water sports. Windsurfing is incredibly popular here. Punta Prima is another sunny hotspot especially for those with kids in tow who may need all manner of amenities close by at a moment’s notice! With all sorts of shops, restaurants and bars never far away, you could even treat yourself to a couple of cocktails while they splash around.
Many of Menorca’s stunning resorts offer nightly live music and entertainment during the summer months provided by late night bars and clubs; many of which stay open until well into the small hours. The popular bustling towns of Máo and Ciutadella boast the biggest selection and some of the islands premier live entertainment nightspots, with classy piano bars, elegant cocktail bars and salsa and jazz clubs offering the best in local performance and beyond. A number of nightclubs can be found in Menorca, ranging from uber-sophisticated bars with busy dance floors to all-late night discos with DJs spinning all your favourites well into the wee hours. If you think Lady Luck is on your side, you could always take a roll of the dice at one of Menorca’s casinos, the most renowned all found along Mao harbour. At the base of the Old Town walls near the harbour, you’ll find Akelarre music bar, in which hipsters (both the original and the modern) have sipped on cocktails for over a hundred years... With a stunning beer garden, the live music bar also offers two floors of fun, so you can see what suits your mood.
Menorca is an incredibly peaceful location to visit for couples; with an unbeatable number of beaches to find a secluded spot, stunning scenery and romantic sunsets aplenty. But what better way to really rekindle your romance and reconnect than hand in hand on a walking holiday? Menorca is a veritable unspoiled paradise for walkers, with diverse terrains from oak and pine forests to deserted beaches and coves. Stroll past Neolithic monuments that are millennia old, or look out for stunningly exotic flora and fauna, all while you really get to know that special someone walking alongside you.
A favourite with walkers here is the relatively easy 6 mile walk along the ‘Cami de Cavalls’ or ‘Path of Horses’. Originally laid by the Moors during the 13th century who used it to defend against foreign invasion, in recent years the path has slowly been returned to former glories and is a fantastic way to see Menorca on foot. It’s a great way to get some exercise on your travels, while soaking up the sunshine and spending quality time with your other half.
There’s certainly no shortage of sights for culture vultures on Menorca; seen in the evidence of the civilisations that came before in the vast collections held at the Museu de Menorca, located in Maó's iconic Franciscan monastery. Elsewhere, the Museu Municipal del Bastió de sa Font in Ciutadella contains a number of fascinating exhibitions showcasing Menorca’s impressive military history. Definitely pay a visit to Fort Marlborough, the British built fortress which long guarded the entrance to Port Maó; which features a number of fascinating exhibits and serves as a soul stirring reminder of the horrors of 18th century warfare. If you happen to be visiting during the summer months, there are also a number of festivals and concerts that take place all over the island; with a world-renowned opera week a firm favourite of local aficionados and visitors alike.